What is your current role, and how did it come about?
My current role is director of people, learning & culture at Mercy Health. I
commenced with the organisation as the group HR manager in 2001 and
was promoted into the HR director position. In 2008 the CEO John Ballard
and I discussed that the function actually was broader and needed to reflect
what we were trying to deliver into the business. Then together we came up
with ‘people, learning and culture’. It really defines the job, even though it’s
a long title and everyone gets it wrong!
What qualifications do you hold?
Human Resource Strategy in Transforming Organisations from London
Business School, Masters of Business (Industrial Relations/Human Resource
Management) from RMIT/University /Grenoble Ecole de Management
France, and a Graduate Diploma (Industrial Relations/Human Resource
Manager) from RMIT University.
How did you get into HR?
I started in retail in an administration role within HR and loved the work. The
rest is history……
What is your career ambition?
I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Professionally it is most definitely my work at Mercy Health in developing
and implementing our diversity strategy. It has delivered real and sustainable
outcomes for the people that work here and for the organisation in attracting
and retaining talented people. I am really proud of it. We were the winner
of the Best Workplace Diversity Strategy – HR Leadership Awards 2009.
On a personal level raising our two daughters Madeleine and Isobel. I really
hope they enter a different workplace than the one I first did. I want them to
achieve whatever life goals they set for themselves.
What do you think it takes to succeed in HR?
To succeed you need determination and to be the ideas person! You need to
be prepared to take risks - it’s the only way you can be innovative. In my
team there is no bad idea! You need to continually reinvent yourself and
keep updated on changes and practices.
What advice would you give to graduates considering a
career in HR?
I would like to see graduates combine their HR degree with accounting. In
HR, having the ability to read and understand a balance sheet is becoming
more important. You need to be able to deliver on a business case and be
accountable for the outcomes. That is what sets you apart from the next
Describe yourself in three words:
Driven, innovative, passionate (I asked my team!)
Do you have any role models, professionally or
Studying Human Resources Strategy in Transforming Organisations under
Professor Lynda Gratton at London Business School has been a career
highlight and an honour. I have followed Lynda’s work for many years and
to be a part of a global study group led by her was a career best. She
makes you think about strategy in a very different way that engages your
workforce. I would suggest people read her book ‘Glow’. I give copies to
managers here at Mercy Health - she offers simple solutions to complex
issues. It’s all about developing relationships!